A file by any other name... would be completely lost.
Yesterday, three of our web design clients here North Carolina sent me files. One was a logo for a new site we’re building, one was a product shot to add to site and one was a picture from a recent bike tour. And you know what? They all had the same file name: photo.jpg.
Maybe it’s my OCD talking, but isn’t that crazy?
Naming conventions are not for programmers. They are for everyone -- especially you and me. Because giving each and every file you have a specific, information-packed name will save your sanity one day. I’m talking documents, photos, logos and basically anything you save on your computer.
Do you have a logo file? Call it mybusiness_logo_Sept_2012.jpg or what have you. Let your file name tell a story. Let that story make sense everywhere outside of the context of your head. Because if you have to send you file to a web designer, a printer or any other vendor, they will appreciate your attention to detail.
Are you writing out a case study and editing it? Save versions with consistent names, such as mybusiness_casestudy_clientname_v2.doc. Then iterate that version as you go, so all the files stay nicely together in the hierarchy.
And photos. Here’s a biggie. You know about SEO, right? Well, your web site photos are a huge opportunity for optimization. If you have a photo on your site of your product, that photo asset is searchable. So if I go searching for purple doohickies and you sell them, but instead of yourbusiness_doohicky_purple.jpg you call it image004.jpg, Google probably won’t show it to me in an image search.
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